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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
If you like being herded on huge ships, this is not for you. If you enjoy dodging electric carts on board, this is not for you. If you want to be in a crowded theatre, this is not for you. If you like to pay extra to get the best dining ... Read More
If you like being herded on huge ships, this is not for you. If you enjoy dodging electric carts on board, this is not for you. If you want to be in a crowded theatre, this is not for you. If you like to pay extra to get the best dining selections, this is not for you. If you take youthful children and have someone entertain them, this is not for you. If you need to stop a large, overcrowded ports with multiple trinket store, this is not for you. If you’re a couch potato, this is not for you. If you need to be hoisted by an elevator, this is not for you. However, there are a multitude of reason to consider the Star Clippers and, especially, the Royal Clipper. First, it’s very comfortable to be on a ship where the staff and most passengers know your name. It’s nice to be served by professionally educated and trained personnel. It’s nice to be entertained by wonderful local musicians. It’s exciting to see 5,400 sq.ft of sails be unfurled and set. It’s relaxing to feel the ocean breeze and the sea spray. It’s fun to visit small ports and have access to beautiful beaches. It’s amazing to look up at any of the five masts that are neatly 180 ft. high and be able to climb to a crow’s nest 75 ft. above the deck. It’s nice to be casually dressed every evening. It’s nice to have a wide selection of delicious choice at every meal. It’s nice to pay $3.50 for beer and wine and under $6.00 for mixed drinks. It’s nice to have so many water sports available from a ramp that is lowered from the stern. It’s nice to know that more than half of the passengers have been aboard the Royal Clipper previously. It’s nice from the beautiful maroon mahogany paneling to the special dinnerware. The niceties go on and on. Yes, we will be back for many more adventures on The Royal Clipper. I have taken 30 other cruises, most on the most luxurious, and have visited 93 countries. I have found the niche that I enjoy most. Ahoy, mate! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this ship as we are avid sailors, and if you want to sail in a tall ship, this is probably the best. However, this comes with some compromises that have to be accepted. The ship is small, at 4400 gross tonnes. It is a sailing ... Read More
We chose this ship as we are avid sailors, and if you want to sail in a tall ship, this is probably the best. However, this comes with some compromises that have to be accepted. The ship is small, at 4400 gross tonnes. It is a sailing ship so will heel gently to the wind and have a genteel motion. There are no elevators, no climbing walls, no casino, One restaurant and no constant tannoy announcements. The cabins are small (it's a tall ship). What you do get is some special sailing on a beautiful ship with traditional mahogany and brass interiors, all scrupulously clean and maintained. A library and piano bar, a high crew to passenger ratio, an open bridge policy, good food and helpful crew. There are only c200 guests and 105 crew. The bar staff will know you by name in the first day. The ship uses the sails for about 60% of the time, using the engine only to make the eta at next port or when the wind is in the wrong direction. It was never noticeable in our cabin which was ver quiet. The prices for extras such as wine and cocktails, laundry etc are not outrageous. Entertainment is very much passenger led, costume evenings, quizzes and the like. It all hails from a previous age and is very stress free and relaxing. This is not a high octane thrill seekers trip, if you want that then you're on the wrong ship. It's not suitable for people with reduced mobility as there are no lifts and access doors have large cills and are very heavy. There would not be much for young children to do. The paid shore excursions are uniformly poor. We took three and they were all very bad with late pick ups, dirty venues and it was obvious nobody from the company has tested them for years. We loved it. Some passengers complained about the ships motion, small cabins and lack of elevators? Did they read the brochure? Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
This was my second time on Star Flyer that sailed out of St Marten to the Leeward Islands, Nevis, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Antigua and St. Barth. I was solo and surprised that I was upgraded from category 6 to category 5 which was very ... Read More
This was my second time on Star Flyer that sailed out of St Marten to the Leeward Islands, Nevis, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Antigua and St. Barth. I was solo and surprised that I was upgraded from category 6 to category 5 which was very convenient to all areas, cabin 404. Ship routine was same as last year except the cruise director gave a talk on each port on the bridge before we got to the islands, this was helpful and don't think I missed it last year but anyway I was glad they did this. The lure of these trips is everything the large cruise ships lack, no crowds, small ports, very relaxed atmosphere. There were many from UK, Canada, Germany, and US on our trip. Food on Star Flyer is very good to my taste. I am not a gourmet but every meal I had was very good, only breakfast buffet I have seen that had crispy and non crispy bacon. Only negative is it took over two hours for dinner which is way longer than I am used to but this may be due to I was seated at table for 8 each night where last year I was at table for 4. They do a great job of seating you with other people and they were all very welcoming to me as a solo. We sailed over 80% of the time according to the Captain and only one night did it get "bumpy". I am not a sailor but am amazed to watch the sails and the sailors who operate the ship. I did only one ship excursion of a tour of Nevis which gave a tour of the entire island, I only wish we could have stayed longer on each island but understand time and sailing. I feel very fortunate to be able to sail on these ships due to specials where they sometime remove the single supplement and will be on the Royal Clipper in March out of Barbados. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
.We chose to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary on Star Flyer. The real let down was our cabin no.301 (300 would be the same). So small, only suitable for one person. Had to get out of bed at the bottom as bed fixed both sides. Bed ... Read More
.We chose to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary on Star Flyer. The real let down was our cabin no.301 (300 would be the same). So small, only suitable for one person. Had to get out of bed at the bottom as bed fixed both sides. Bed was comfortable but difficult getting out as there was a metre drop to the floor. Quite dangerous at night! We feel this aspect really was not value for money as we paid nearly £5,000 not including flights for a small room cupboard. Did have a port hole but very small and high up on the wall. Better cabins are available but at a huge price hike. Enjoyed the food, varied and plentiful and the drink prices very reasonable, 3.50 euros for glass of wine/beer and 16 euros for bottle of wine. Cocktails around 5 euros. No problem with sunbeds, two very small splash pools which were fine with us but not so good if you you wanted to swim. The excursions were incredibly expensive for what was on offer and many people felt poor value for money. We did our own thing at each port which we preferred. Entertainment is patchy to say the least so if you want full on entertainment a Star Clipper would not be for you. Mr and Mrs contests, fitness programme in the morning etc. all very low key. Mainly tenders were used which surprised us and very dangerous for people with disabilities trying to get on as the ship was rocking plus the tender - pretty scary sometimes! Staff friendly and helpful but we would not do this again as we do not feel it was value for money. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
My second Clipper cruise...first was Star Clipper and that was so unique and amazing that I wanted to spend Christmas on the Royal Clipper out of Barbados and tour the Grenadine islands. As I was alone I booked a smaller stateroom and ... Read More
My second Clipper cruise...first was Star Clipper and that was so unique and amazing that I wanted to spend Christmas on the Royal Clipper out of Barbados and tour the Grenadine islands. As I was alone I booked a smaller stateroom and while they do sell it for two I found it perfect for one ... well designed with wood paneling, great bed, lots of mirrors and quite a large bathroom...all marble. I was very forward so I did hear the anchor but I didn't care much. There is a lot of stairs going up and then down a bit and up some more but you get used to it. The grand dinning room, at the lowest deck was a touch of Paris with an Atrium up to the top deck and the sky light is actually the bottom of the pool. A white grand piano sits like Juliet on a special balcony so it can be heard at all levels and he had another on deck for the after noon buffet. There is a piano bar, a shop, a library, top deck bar and plenty of sun beds....no need to HOG and reserve them. The tenders to shore are great and the back of the Royal drops down to the ocean like a draw bridge and you can swim off it and they have lots of fun water toys. They feed you four times a day and I mean really feed you. Great buffet breakfast with Egg station...Buffet Lunch...both in main dinning room and then the on deck Buffet they set up everyday on deck at 5 p.m. The bars are great on deck and inside the Piano Bar. The Christmas decor was wonderful with trees and garlands...music and ginger bread houses and Yule logs....l ate so much I felt like ballast. There are a lot of shore excursions to choose from but I felt those on excursions were always at the foreground...we would stop at, not very nice ports so they could board a bus while we had nothing to see in port....I didn't like the split days...a stop in the morning and then move to someplace else in the after noon. Too rushed....some stops you could do without (except to board a bus) others Like Martinique we had too little time and had to rush to see anything. One fabulous beach day they dragged everything from the ship and had a huge BBQ on shore while we swam and sunned...all delicious...they even bring the desert. Each time we leave port and they start raising the sail they play the most magnificent music...classical with a Male choir ... WOW...it is so moving and makes you feel like a Viking off to war...I wanted to throw a spear at somebody. The mail pool of three where bar patrons can see you through under water windows was very nice. We could even climb the mast for the most amazing photo Op. Then there are nets at the front figure head you can just lay there like a fish in a net with the water rushing below. Now for the best feature....THE CREW...I have never seen such a hard working group and always pleasant, smiling and helpful, and remember everything has to be lugged up and down countless flights of stairs...from the kitchen which is somewhere underwater and all the way to the top deck...up and down...My room attendant was fabulous and I felt very pampered...everything perfect always. As the tips are based on Per Person they get a bit cheated when there was so many solo travelers it literally cuts they tips in half...so as I was alone I doubled my tip (not much ) and ensured he would earn the same as if it were two. The sing songs, the talent show, the Christmas Carols, the Steel Band who came aboard for a couple of hours...the Campaign party...the Lobster, the Turkey, and all the specialties to eat...you can't go wrong and as I said....This is NOT Disney Land at sea. This is a fabulous, luxurious, unique cruise under sail and you need this in your memory for every. Thanks to all on the Royal. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
You travel on these ships for the romance of sailing child-free, and the barque Royal Clipper is indeed a beautiful ship. You don't choose these cruises if you are someone who needs constant professional entertainment or you want to ... Read More
You travel on these ships for the romance of sailing child-free, and the barque Royal Clipper is indeed a beautiful ship. You don't choose these cruises if you are someone who needs constant professional entertainment or you want to be chatting continuously on 'anti-social' media. In 2001 we sailed the Greek Islands on the same cruise line's barquentine Star Flyer and had a wonderful trip. We wanted to try to recapture that experience on the Clipper, a larger fully square-rigged tall ship. Unfortunately that didn't quite happen. At the beginning we were caught for two days in a violent Mediterranean storm (force 10) and some people were injured. Broken glass and crockery everywhere. This took the edge off the cruise for some fair weather sailors like us. The crew did their best but passengers should have been told to remain in their cabins until it passed. They weren't, hence some injuries, a couple of them quite nasty. There was a skilled professional nurse on board but no doctor. The rest of the 12 day cruise was uneventful weather-wise. However, except for the last night the ship had to motor to maintain schedule. There was precious little sailing. Some officers seemed to take passenger comments offered in a spirit of co-operation as criticism. There was an edge of defensiveness. This was explained by repeat travellers who suggested the owners are very tough on staff about passenger complaints. If so that would certainly affect crew morale. The stewards, waiters and staff with whom we had regular contact were all very kind and attentive. The food, which is all important, was the key disappointment on the Clipper. I was reminded of an upmarket version of the plant canteen buffet lunches experienced during my career. Breakfast and lunch were the best meals. The exception was the Captain's Dinner. The main courses offered that night were lobster and a fillet steak. Those at our table ate the lobster as a starter and the steak as our main. A steak on any other night was of the 'minute' variety. (Pronounce that as you will.) Another passenger, a chef who owned restaurants in Europe, gave his spin on this circumstance. He said the food problem was not the skill of those in the galley but that they had an insufficient budget to prepare anything really first class other than on the night of the Captain's Dinner. That made sense, but if it is so it represents a dramatic change of policy from the experience we had enjoyed previously on the Star Flyer, where every meal was a culinary delight. It seems the management is cutting corners on a key item. For the money we expected Captain's Dinner quality every night. We thought the house wines were low-end, and costly for their quality. Let's face it, eating and drinking are still mankinds' second greatest pleasures. That said, the highlight of the on-board cruise for us was definitely the many nice people we met and the kindness of the staff with whom we had direct contact. We were satisfied with the excursions we took. They fulfilled our expectations. There was no opportunity on this cruise for water sports, a function of the weather and the itinerary. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We just returned from a Cannes to Cannes cruise which stopped at ports in Italy, Corsica and Sardinia with excursions to Pisa and Mt. Carbonne in Elba among other offerings. This was our 1st Clipper cruise but we will sign up for ... Read More
We just returned from a Cannes to Cannes cruise which stopped at ports in Italy, Corsica and Sardinia with excursions to Pisa and Mt. Carbonne in Elba among other offerings. This was our 1st Clipper cruise but we will sign up for another without a doubt. With about 200 passengers, a 3rd from the US and the rest from Europe mainly, it was easy and comfortable meeting each other especially with the open seating policy for dinner which we particularly appreciated. Due to minimal winds, we motored for the most part but when leaving a port, all the sails are down, the send off music plays and the magic is felt. We found the food very good and the room sizes quite adequate and comfortable. The staff from program director, waitstaff, cabin crew to the chef and captain could not have been more professional, friendly and attentive. We recommend this ship in particular but the Star Clipper line without reservation. The whole experience left me nostalgic and yearning to return even 2 weeks after it ended. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
A small ship able to visit the smaller, uncrowded islands, excellent food, fantastic and reasonable shore excursions with a wonderful cruise director, and pleasant company. What more can one ask? Well, maybe rolling out of bed and ... Read More
A small ship able to visit the smaller, uncrowded islands, excellent food, fantastic and reasonable shore excursions with a wonderful cruise director, and pleasant company. What more can one ask? Well, maybe rolling out of bed and walking 20 feet to a buffet breakfast, basking in the sun on the webbing slung from the bowsprit, climbing to the crow's nest for a fantastic view, or listening to the captain of the ship play classical guitar on the amateur entertainment night. We always wanted to try a sailing cruise and to see the Greek islands. The Star Flyer (or its sister ships in the Star Clipper line) was the ideal way to satisfy both desires for a reasonable price. We've done many large ship cruises but now we're sold on the intimacy and informality of the Star Clipper approach. It's great not to have any queues boarding, eating, visiting islands, or disembarking. While the dining was informal dress the food was great and the service elegant and attentive. The big name visit was to Mykonos, which we preferred least because it's too touristy and it was crowded with other cruise ships in port. We loved Amorgos: We were the only ship visiting this small Greek gem. We did a cruise tour to a monastery overlooking the beach where a famous diving movie, Le Grand Bleu, was filmed. Our guide was a local Greek woman who knew well the history of the monastery and the island. After the tour we spent the remaining hours in the small town and ran into the guide at her sister's patisserie. We then enjoyed watching the boats and locals at a port front restaurant while sipping wine and ouzo, for a few Euros each. Once again the guide appeared because her parents owned the restaurant. Our experiences on another small island, Patmos, where we visited the cave where St. John dictated the Apocalypse, was similar. For Monemvassia the cruise director Monica had the sports team organize a free walking tour to the fort at the peak of the island with a commanding view of the walled town at its base, the port, and the Peloponnese peninsula. Visits to the Greek ruins at Ephesus and Melos (an island just across from Mykonos) provided the cultural enrichment for the trip. We now understand why the majority of our fellow sailors were multiple repeat customers. One of them had been on 20+ Star Clipper cruises. But he's far from the record: One lady has sailed with the Star Clippers 190+ times. Well, we're on our way to compete! Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Chose this cruise because we wanted a proper sailing adventure and did not want a large floating hotel, - and It was just fabulous ! We enjoyed every single minute of this voyage. Yes - the cabins are quite "cosy" , but they have ... Read More
Chose this cruise because we wanted a proper sailing adventure and did not want a large floating hotel, - and It was just fabulous ! We enjoyed every single minute of this voyage. Yes - the cabins are quite "cosy" , but they have everything you need. The crew were all very friendly and professional. The food on board was superb, and we met some lovely people from all over the world. Some of the trips were a bit disappointing, eg: Malacca is a place I wouldn't rush back to, and the Similian islands were more crowded than Maya bay, but life on board ship was always the highlight. Prices on board were very reasonable -especially when compared to Singapore ! Always felt very safe when leaving the ship by tender, but you do need to be fairly fit as there are a lot of stairways involved on a cruise like this. To sum up - loved it, loved it, loved it ! Can't wait for the next one - probably in the Med. Read Less
31 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Our Cruise was the Windward Islands. We had never been cruising before. It was a very different experience. We were some of the youngest passengers in our late 50s and early 60s and many of the passengers were over 80! The evening ... Read More
Our Cruise was the Windward Islands. We had never been cruising before. It was a very different experience. We were some of the youngest passengers in our late 50s and early 60s and many of the passengers were over 80! The evening entertainment was limited and over most nights by 11, after that most went to bed. However, do not be put off the food and attention to detail will stay with us for ever. The cabins, ship, dining, ports and excursions were amazing. The majority of staff could not do enough to help you. Standards were very high. You may be seasick, where the Atlantic and Caribbean meet, it can be rocky. Please take your seasick tablets and bands. The first morning we could not wait to arrive at St Lucia, but after that most of the time we seemed to get "sea legs." Many people looked green around the gills! The unfurling of the sail as we left port will stay with me for ever. There is so much space. Do not forget she is an ocean going vessel and you can really feel her move. Read Less
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